Dead as a door-nail

I’m sitting in the den drinking beer. The fog won’t burn off, it’s cold like San Francisco. I stood in the aisle at the grocery store with the toothpaste and traveler-size section, and lost myself in the overhead music, forgot what I was looking for.

My iTunes library will outlive me and half of it will go unheard. I’m on song 450 of 15092 now, determined to play out this session of Shuffle unbroken. I used to think if you reached far enough into it, if you let the supposed randomness of it play out, it would reveal some hidden meaning by the end.

The cat left another corpse by the door, and I kicked it below the bush, the eyes X’d out like a cartoon. Part of me thinks there would be poetic justice for the cats to get killed and picked apart for sport, by a larger version of the same creatures they’ve been maiming and bloodletting all summer. Another part fears karmic repercussion for even thinking that, as I’d have to deal with the remains and emotional imbroglio with the kids.

Their teeth are in bad shape according to the vet, requiring some special rinse that costs $750 apiece. As soon as we spend the money, one will disappear or get eaten, and there will go that $750 rinse.

One of my favourite blogger writer friends from Canada wrote about re-reading Slaughterhouse Five and so now I’m doing it too, and I can hear Kurt Vonnegut in Ross, and hear Kurt inside of me.

I sat in the dark by the glow of the moon in the hot tub listening to the leaves snapping off the trees and thought there could be footsteps out there: animals, spirits, thieves…and imagined a poem in my head linked to the halo of the moon, and then slipped out of the tub while I could still remember the words but got genuinely scared, and had to slam the door shut and lock it, sure that whatever was moving in the dark was about to grab me in in the doorway.

I wrote it on paper and crossed out parts of it and rewrote them, and thought it looked like copies of an original song written by Bob Dylan, put inside the liner notes.

The crows are black spades against the gray scrim of fog and it’s an Escher print, black and white, always changing depending on the angle of view, always the same, too.

There is no meaning in my iTunes library, no more so than the tree branches that look like Halloween hands, like claws for hawks to perch upon, like footsteps and figures and faces in the dark, milky shadows.

I lay looking out the window with my arms over my chest like a corpse, like a bug with its legs in the air, someone folded the arms to make an X, a landing pad for the heart. So it goes.

Categories: death

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. Cool. Always tickled to find myself in a post, but startled too. Then it makes it hard to concentrate the rest because I’m trying to fit myself in the puzzle of your writing. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a fun game. The best part is I had just chuckled at my desk regarding the $750.
    My old 2nd generation iPod is, believe it or not, 2GB, so there’s a semi-regular triage for what music makes it on there and what gets yanked. I’m sure you can imagine the pros and cons of this process.
    Speaking of puzzles, trying to figure what Franzen is doing in your tags. Did you see this piece by Lemony Snicket? His last example is quite the zinger:
    I feel like a Catskills comic when I say “zinger.”


    • I just realized I wrote “cats kills.” Completely unplanned.


    • Yikes! That is quite the dig on Franzen! I put him in my tag because that may be the closest I ever get to him or his writing prowess…and in the novel Freedom, one of the lead characters has a problem with cats because they thin out the bird population (and he’s a birder). I really loved that book, myself. I think you would enjoy his wit. I’m enjoying finishing up S-5 and thank you for the inspiration to do so. My dog just rolled in shit or something dead, and I have it on my knee still, in pants I can only get dry cleaned. Peace to you and yours.


      • Ahh, the birder. Now I recall. I like Franzen but Freedom frustrated me in many ways. A lot of the time it felt like he was working out some weird female fantasies. But I felt it redeemed itself in the end, which was appropriate, given the theme of redemption and all. I loved The Corrections, though. Gobbled it right up, much the way the women in Freedom seem so eager to gobble… oh, never mind…

        Take care of that shit!


      • That is funny. I’ve been writing with shit on my pants. Now there’s shit on my screen, soon to be on yours. Voices Carry


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